The Shroud of Turin is a sheet of linen that bears the image of a crucified man with major wounds to the wrists, feet and top of the forehead. They have left blood stains on the cloth.
The early church knew this cloth as the Sudarium. On May 28th 1898 the first photograph was taken of it by Secondo Pia, an amateur Italian photographer when it was exhibited in the Turin Cathedral. The result was a much clearer image on the negative film rather than the positive. In addition to revealing puncture wounds to the wrists and feet and wounds to the head, they also reveal many linear wounds to the legs and torso consistent with the dumbbell wounds of a Roman flagrum.
Since 1578 it has been held in Turin Cathedral, however the cloth itself does not originate in Europe, but in the Middle East proven by the way its flax fibres are woven. The 3/1 twill herringbone weave of linen is consistent with fabrics from Masada, dating to the 1st century.
Carbon 14 dating tests done in 1988 were shown to be inconclusive because they were only done on a sample that has completely different chemical properties to the rest of the Shroud because it had been rewoven. This dating technique was fundamentally flawed consequently. Further tests made the 1st Century AD a plausible date.
Ray Rogers, a chemist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico who had helped lead the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STRP) in 1978, had thought like many others that the 1988 radiocarbon 14 dating on a sample of The Shroud dated it to either the 13th or 14th century. However, Sue Benford and Joe Marino from Ohio USA believed that the 1988 sample was from a section that had been damaged in 1532 in a fire when it was housed in a chapel in Chambary France (before it went to the Holy See of the Catholic Church in 1578, relocated to Turin). Ray Rogers wanted to prove Benford and Marina wrong, but when he examined threads taken in 1978 from the same sample as 1988 he discovered that they had cotton coated with dye revealing that they had probably been changed during the repair. There is no cotton in the main part of the Shroud. In the scientific journal Thermochimica Acta Rogers stated:
"The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud." January 2005
So his conclusion was that these different materials had resulted in an inaccurate age of the Shroud. He said "I came very close to proving the shroud was used to bury the historic Jesus."
Even more recently Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua conducted tests with a team of experts between 2010-2013. Along with journalist Saviero Gaeta he used infra-red light and spectroscopy which is the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths. Fanti said the image was caused by a blast of "extreme radiation" concluding that the man on the Shroud lived between 280 BC and 220 AD. He said that this radiation that caused the image has no natural explanation. The results suggest that to produce an image of a man on a fabric in 1/2 scale would require 300,000 volts. Interestingly, the american scientist Igor Bensen has said that 50,000,000 volts would be required for the Shroud body image in a 1/1 scale. Fanti and Gaeta's findings are documented in their book "The Mystery of the Shroud".
Analysis of the blood stains
Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone, 76, a surgeon, who was a teacher of Forensic Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Law at the University of Turin for more than forty years analysed samples taken from the cloth with adhesive tape. He reported that the blood on the shroud is type AB. It is significant that type AB is rare in Europe and most of the world, with an estimated 3.2% of the world's population having this type, but around 18% of Jews from the North have it. Apart from the Y sex chromosome, all of Jesus' genetic information would have come from his mother Mary. The gene for blood type is not on the Y chromosome. On that basis, it would come from his mother Mary, and not from Joseph, sitting comfortably with the doctrine of the Virgin birth. In 1995 Dr. Gaza-Valdes of the University of Texas published the results of a DNA analysis of blood samples of the shroud in his book "The DNA of God?".
The British Broadcast Company (BBC) reported on the 1999 conference of the Missouri Botanical Society:
"Professor Avinoam Danin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said an examination of pollen traces and floral imprints suggested that they could only have come from plants growing in a restricted area around Jerusalem and could date back to Jesus's time.
He said: "This combination of flowers can be found in only one region of the world. The evidence clearly points to a floral grouping from the area surrounding Jerusalem.
The pollen grains were collected from the shroud some years ago.
His researchers also said a type of pollen from a thistle visible near the shoulder of the man's image on the shroud was believed to have come from the plant used for Jesus's crown of thorns.
Two pollen grains of this same species were also found on another relic, the Sudarium of Oviedo, which is widely believed to have been Jesus's face cloth at his burial.
That has been traced back to the 1st Century."
Evidence Of 1st Century Roman Coins
Enhanced photography has involved enlargements and computer analysis of shapes, colors, and shadows. A microdensitometer was used which measures very faint changes in lightness and darkness. In 1979, Jesuit Father Francis L. Filas of the Loyola University of Chicago observed on the right eyelid of the shroud image four letters "UCAI" which formed a crown around the crook of an augurs staff. This image corresponds to the symbol on a small coin known as the dilepton lituus struck in 29 AD during the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate (26-36 AD). The coin covering the left eye was later identified by Professors Bollone and Balossino as the lepton simpulum, which also was struck in 29 AD. Jews in the 1st Century AD used coins to hold down the eyelids.
Another interesting discovery that the news media reported on November 21st 2009 was made by Dr Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican secret archives. She said "I think I have managed to read the burial certificate of Jesus the Nazarene, or Jesus of Nazareth." She had reconstructed it from fragments of Greek, Latin and Hebrew writing imprinted on the cloth along with the image of the crucified man. These include the Greek words (I)esou(s) Nnazarennos, or Jesus the Nazarene, and (T)iber(iou), which she interprets as Tiberius, the Roman emperor at the time of Christ's crucifixion. Dr. Frale has published a book, The Shroud of Jesus the Nazarene.
In 2004 Dame Isabel Piczek, an acclaimed Hungarian monumental artist and particle physicist undertook work that provides exceptionally compelling evidence for Christ's resurrection as revealed by The Shroud. She had wondered why it was that there was no distortion of the image. This was physically impossible because the body had been lying on solid rock. She created a sculpture of the man in the Shroud about a quarter size, resulting in the image being analysed as a hologram. Her conclusion was that the nature of the image embedded on the shroud must have got there as a result of a meeting of true event horizons or in layman's terms when laws of gravity and even time itself are suspended. The quantum physics are complicated but the findings are nothing short of astounding.
The Fabric Of Time
Grizzly Adams Productions have recently produced a DVD with fascinating fresh evidence confirming the authenticity of the Turin Shroud entitled "The Fabric Of Time." 3-D Holographic Images of the Face of Christ can be viewed with special 3-D glasses especially provided. Here is a sample of the DVD:
It was concluded in the scientific Journal of Optics (April 14, 2004) of the Institute of Physics in London that the images on the Shroud are not man-made. Science does not know how the images were imprinted on the Shroud, pointing to the most glorious event in history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ being the sole cause of the images impacting the linen cloth.
Scientists have concluded that the image on The Shroud could not be a painting because it resulted from rapid dehydration of the cellulose in the fabric. The researchers of the 1978 STURP found no dyes, pigments, paints, or stains on the fibrils. The image would have had to be from a supernatural flash of light where natural laws were suspended. In conclusion, The Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of The Lord Jesus Christ revealing both His passion and glorious resurrection. Christ's resurrection is the ultimate expression of life coming from death, of light defeating darkness, and of the victory over sin and death. It is the answer for fallen humanity to have hope in eternal life. He came to die and rise again to rescue, redeem, and restore us forever. All He asks is that we make a choice for Him to qualify.
Scientists managed to recreate the face of Jesus from the image on the Shroud because it encodes 3-D information in 2-D format. The face is remarkably similar to the face of Jesus painted by artist Akiene Kramarik when she was a child aged just 8 after she testifies to having seen Him in an encounter. Others who testify to having seen Jesus including Colton Burpo and Sasha Steel who both experienced clinical death and went to Heaven and met Jesus testify of this likeness. In this very short video the Shroud image transitions into Akiene's painting:
1 John 3: 16 says "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us." God's standard is perfection. Any violation of His holy laws, however small, separates us from Him. Rather than punish us, God chose to send His only Son to die one of the cruelest forms of death imaginable to give us eternal life, if we choose to give our lives to Him, and repent from our sinful lifestyle, no longer living for ourselves.